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Murray

Wonderful blog post, Peg!

And belated birthday greetings. Sorry, I missed the actual day.

Stay as young, sweet and thoughtful as you always seem to be.

Love,

Murray

RobertArvanitis

Beautiful love story, how humans adapt and overcome.

So pace Rosin, don’t mourn for boys quite yet. Humans have survived plagues, droughts, and wars since time immemorial. Liberals ain’t no thing.

Survival is at the species level. There are tall dandelions (get the most sun) and short dandelions (escape the mowers.)

Same for people. Retailers find inherent segmentation — say 20% will use the latest phone app; perhaps half want at least some human connection, if only a phone operator walking them through a form; a final third or so need a trusted advisor, a broker explaining things across the breakfast table. (Have predictive analytics work on this if you’re interested.)

In evolutionary terms, the adventurous would find new resources first but the neurotic survived ambushes, and so forth.

This is true for gender as well. Men have a more extreme distribution. The strong survive wars, the clever get ahead in complex trading societies. In any regime, those best suited breed the most.

Women meanwhile have a rather different risk/return, and hence a tighter distribution. Fewer shots at kids so each must count more; go with the current winner.

Altogether a flexible, adaptive system, able to compensate for a wide range of environments.

Zorro

"...the 64 years they've been together..."

That is worth more than the goddamned moon landing!

64 years together.

Awesomeness!!!!!!!

Keating Willcox

Rosin's book is ominous. 50 years of casting men as the opposition have produced a culture dedicated to keeping the battle going even in families with children. And the men are responding as they can do best - walking away from commitment. I think in another generation we will be like japan, no money, no grandchildren, few if any children, and a dying civilization.

Kavanna

A great and touching posting. It makes me think of my parents, who were not typical for their time and place.

My mother finished college first during the war and became a teacher. My father finished college after the war, and never did a graduate degree. My mother did (two degrees), because it lifted her out of teaching per se, into supervision and mentoring, a career on a different level, and unusual for the 1950s and 60s. (Unusual, but not impossible.)

This all gets simpler when we realize that Rosin's is just a bad and silly book. She registers all kinds of inconvenient facts without being able to understand them: single motherhood is bad; divorce is bad, but exceptionally bad for women and children; women with high-earning husbands often prefer to stay at home with the kids, at least when they're young. The difference today is that women have a freer and wider range of choices, not all of them good, and not all of them better than what was available to their mothers or grandmothers. Caveat emptorix.

I could say that Rosin's mentality is disconnected from reality, an extreme case of those brainwashed by the most expensive miseducation her parents could buy. But that's being too charitable.

K

I am old enough to remember when a woman couldn't get insurance or purchase a car on her own

Maybe you should check your memory again or stop taking "Madmen" quite so seriously. In the 60s, my mother - who was single at the time - purchased several cars on her own complete with insurance, and a house. She was also head book keeper at a medium sized company. She had many women friends with the same level of independence.

In spite of a lot of women wanting the feminist movement to be the equivalent of the civil rights movement for blacks, it wasn't.

comatus

It is a lovely story. I kind of have to pile on with K there, though. Before "Mystique," I knew women in many walks of life -- banking, real estate, shop owners, a doctor, even a couple of truck drivers. I knew guys whose cars were registered in their girlfriends' names, because young men couldn't get bank credit or car insurance. So there is that.

In college, I was disappointed that so many women bull-headedly only wanted schoolteaching and hurry-up marriages. Men in science and philosophy welcomed female involvement (yes, of course, "ulterior motive" -- we had a pulse, after all), but the women just would not come over. We more than made up for that once the wars started. But they stooped only to conquer.

Margaret

K, I think what you are missing here is what women couldn't get was credit, in their own name if they did not have a job outside the home. They had to use their husband's credit or have their husband purchase the car, even if they had money in their own right. Since insurance is usually tied to income and being a mom and housewife wasn't seen as having the formal economic value that a job did, insurance would also be hard to price. In order to get a loan, you'd need a Job holding probably male co-signer.

Tim maguire

Count me too in the "great article but with a caveat," crowd. But my caveat is to the claim that men are by nature lousy caregivers.

Due to the brutal serendipity of the recession and a famiy illness, i was mr. Mom for about 2 years and neither my wife nor my daughter would say the family suffered for my performance.

During that time, i got to know many other stay at home dads and every one of them was (is) a great caregiver.

Peg

Tim; no argument from me about men being able to be great caregivers. Some assuredly are.

I personally believe that these traits are on a continuum. Generalities are simply that; we cannot assume with certainty because someone belongs to a particular group what they will be like. Men and women can have differing tendencies, due to hormonal and other differences. Nevertheless, any individual can be at one end or the other with characteristics and abilities.

My dad is one perfect example of your belief.

Bill Peschel

Tim, argument from anecdote is useless. For every man who steps up, I've known and heard from many who weren't.

Guys who were out of work who still refused to take care of business at home.

One fellow who stayed with a single woman with kids in a non-romantic relationship, who could have stayed rent-free if he did minor housework. He couldn't, so he was booted out.

Horrible marriages where there was emotional abuse.

And if you read Erma Bombecks columns from the '50s and '60s, and Peg Bracken's cookbooks, you'd see just how dull and unsatisfying many women found child care and suburbia could be. "The Feminine Mystique" was not an outlier.

What we are seeing, here, is a pendulum, swinging between the poles. And pendulums, like revolutions, tend to swing way beyond the boundaries where most people live.

James Solbakken

"And if you read Erma Bombecks columns from the '50s and '60s, and Peg Bracken's cookbooks, you'd see just how dull and unsatisfying many women found child care and suburbia could be. "The Feminine Mystique" was not an outlier."
People need to realize, especially women, that meaning comes from what happens inside of us, not the ephemeral ever changing bullshit of the world around us. When we open the door of our hearts to God then we are able to do the necessary seeing beyond the limitations of the lameness of the mere physical universe.

But who ever heard of philosophical whores?

Email Account

Ask a feminist if they're happier than their mother (they aren't) just to tick 'em off.

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